It’s difficult to find a startup business that isn’t utilizing cloud technology. While it can be hard to conceptualize what the buzz surrounding cloud expertise is about, it’s worth keeping in mind that something as accessible and well-known as Google Drive utilizes the cloud.

Cloud technology allows for increased mobility, which means no more fretting over forgetting to send a file to work on at home or vacation. The cloud provides real-time collaboration, resulting in eliminating the habit of sending the wrong version of a file. Plus, the cloud offers scalability, which means it’s unlikely one will run out of space.

Given these advantages, it’s no wonder that 71 percent of IT decision maker respondents in a recent London School of Economics poll state they believe their company is losing money by not jumping on the bandwagon.

Businesses Missing Out on the Cloud

Beyond its ease of use, lack of cloud integration costs companies more than $258 million globally. While artificial intelligence continues to gain investment, human expertise in cloud management is what corporations are clamouring after. An inability to attract and retain this talent is the main reason companies are unable to capitalize on cloud computing.

Nuanced insight is what is missing from many data forward companies. A business can run reports and simulations all day and get well-crafted and well-engineered data, but directing the right experiments, asking the right questions and then analyzing that data is what is missing.

The nature of IT is evolution and change. The longest average tenure at top tech companies is just above two years, and the actual average hovers between one and two years. That’s hardly enough time for a company to hire an IT professional, have them set up a cloud system, guide other employees in learning the system and then maintain the cloud. Unsurprisingly, in that same London School poll, almost half of respondents found that daily management of the cloud was more labour-intensive than expected.

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The Cloud Brings More Job Functions

With companies needing to devote more resources to integrating technology into everyday operations, the days of having one IT employee to take care of all tech-related needs are vanishing. With critical responsibilities like cloud security, migration of project management and app development, larger companies need to supply an IT department to take advantage of cloud computing.

Salary and benefits alone are not enough to attract top talent. Many people working in IT have an innate drive to solve problems, making continued learning an alluring prospect for top talent. Burnout is another affliction for many IT professionals, who are often asked to wear too many hats and frequently bothered during their vacation time for IT emergencies — this is why having more than one tech expert on staff is essential.

Not to mention, revenue can decrease between the time when an IT expert leaves and the business can hire a replacement. Add to the mix that more than two-thirds of companies are looking to expand their cloud operations, and there is a recipe for an IT employment shortage.

Protecting a Business from Cloud Ignorance

So, how can a business protect itself from failing within a world that’s more dependent on cloud services than ever? Take these steps:

  • Keep Employees Happy: Invest and keep top IT talent satiated. Offer them a salary and benefits package that allows them to focus on their job, hire an ample team to distribute the current and anticipated workload and encourage employee education through seminars and classes.
  • Investigate Ways to Improve: Have your IT staff help take an inventory of how cloud computing is currently aiding the business, as well as identify areas where increased expertise could lead to a higher ROI. Then, give them the tools to implement those changes. Create a list and timeline of how those changes will be implemented — and when.
  • Educate Your Team: Recruit your IT staff to educate the rest of your employees on how to use cloud software. The acquired knowledge will only increase efficiency. While the cloud can remedy mistakes like John from Accounting accidentally deleting all the files from 2012, it still takes time for IT to go in and fix that error. The adage of “a chain is only as strong as its weakest link” could not ring truer for a highly collaborative software system like the cloud.

a lack of human investment in the software is what holds most companies back from fully capitalizing on the service

Cloud computing is the poster child for an increasingly automated world, but a lack of human investment in the software is what holds most companies back from fully capitalizing on the service. A company is leaving money in the sky if they aren’t investing in staff members who can be innovative and train others to develop and utilize cloud software.